Bad Blood Circulation: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Blood circulatory system in a human body supplies nutrients, oxygen and drains out the waste products which include carbon dioxide. Pulmonary circulation in lungs, coronary circulation in heart and systemic circulation in the rest of the body are the three parts of the blood circulation system. Bad blood circulation in the body may lead to different kinds of health problems.

It is important to take precautionary steps to prevent blood circulation problems, as it can be a slow killer. Blood provides nutrition to all the cells and it drains out the dead cells from the body. The problems of blood circulation may cause excess damage to the cells and tissues. Arteries, capillaries and veins circulate blood through out the body.


Poor circulation causes can be caused due to several reasons like aging, excessive body weight, neurological problems etc. The following are a few more causes.

  • Atherosclerosis: This is the medical term used for hardening of blood vessels which can lead to this condition. This is a condition that blocks arteries causing poor blood circulation. This usually happens when the walls of arteries present in the legs and hands gets thickened. The formation of plaque deposits in arteries hardens them, eventually causing this condition. High blood pressure and high cholesterol levels can lead to this condition. Arteriosclerosis can also be caused as a side effect of diabetes. Obesity, lack of exercise, smoking and aging are other reasons.
  • Diabetes: This is another reason that can cause this condition and factors like obesity and smoking also contribute to it.
  • High Cholesterol Diet: This diet forms deposits of plaque on the walls of the blood vessels, reducing the volume of blood supply to them.
  • Venous Thrombosis: This condition is generally caused due to the inflammation of veins and this usually happens due to the presence of blood clots inside them. Tenderness, skin discoloration and swelling are a few symptoms of venous thrombosis. Many people may also experience edema which occurs due to the accumulation of fluids in the nearby tissues and cells. The blood clots formed in this area can also spread to other parts of the body through bloodstream.
  • Foreign Particles: Sometimes, harmful foreign particles get entrapped in the cells and tissues, hardening the walls of the blood vessels causing bad blood circulation.
  • Eating Habits: Unhealthy eating habits, cramped posture, poor nutrition and inflammation of the blood vessels due to various diseases cause poor circulation problems.
  • DVT: Deep vein thrombosis is another condition responsible for bad blood circulation in the body.
  • Other Causes: Nutritional deficiency is another main reason for causing this condition. Inadequate supply of natural minerals, amino acids, fatty acids and vitamins can affect the functioning of arteries, veins and capillaries leading to poor blood circulation problems. Diseases of liver, lungs or kidneys, pregnancy and thyroid problems can also lead to this condition. Toxins which enter the bloodstream through consumption of caffeine, alcohol and smoking result in causing this condition.


  • Coldness in certain parts of the body is an indication of poor blood circulation in those areas.
  • A person suffering from poor blood circulation can experience tingling sensation and numbness as the most common symptoms.
  • Cramps, numbness and weakness in legs and hands or any parts of the body are an indication for this condition.
  • Problems of peeling, cracking of nails, hair loss are the symptoms of poor blood circulation which is caused due to shortage of nutrients and minerals.
  • Varicose veins, red, blue or pale skin are the prominent signs of bad blood circulation.
  • Another symptom for poor blood circulation is delay in healing of infections in the body.
  • These symptoms are usually seen in people who do not perform regular exercises or any kind of physical activities in their daily life.

Signs of poor blood circulation in certain parts of the body may include:


20% of the blood circulated in the body is received by the brain. Poor blood circulation can lead to poor functioning of the brain. The symptoms of poor blood circulation to the brain include:

  • Lethargy
  • Lack of mental clarity
  • Loss of memory
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness and
  • Sudden attacks


Poor blood circulation affects the heart and the symptoms for this condition are:

  • High blood pressure
  • Rise in cholesterol levels
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty in walking and climbing stairs
  • Breathless and
  • Tiredness


The early symptoms of poor blood circulation to the liver include the following:

  • Sudden weight loss
  • Lack of appetite and
  • Luster-less skin


These are the vital organs in the body and play an important role in eliminating the waste, monitoring blood pressure, draining the excess water from the body. The symptoms of poor blood circulation to the kidneys include:

  • Swelling Feet, ankles and hands
  • Altered heart rate
  • Rise in blood pressure and
  • Tiredness


This condition can have a very serious impact on arms and legs. The symptoms of this condition may include the following:

  • Numbness in fingers, hands and feet
  • Painful leg cramps
  • Varicose veins
  • Cyanosis and
  • Skin may turn black or blue due to less oxygen in the tissue.

Sex Drive

Poor blood circulation can have negative effects on the reproductive organs. The symptoms for this condition may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Lack of sex drive
  • Lack of vitality and
  • Impotency

Read to know about the blood circulation problems that are commonly observed.

Blood Circulation Problems

  • Poor blood circulation can be caused by improper functioning of the blood vessels and inadequate supply of blood.
  • Disorders in arteries and veins such as abnormal narrowing and thinning of the walls decreases the flow of blood in the body. This can damage the tissue increasing the chances of rupture.
  • The other factors that reduce the flow of blood are smoking, obesity, improper diet, lack of exercise and intake of excess alcohol.
  • Blood circulation problems can cause leg pain, chest pain, dizziness, dementia and headaches.
  • Hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks, peripheral artery disease and diabetes are the problems caused due to improper blood circulation. These problems are also caused due to obesity or overweight issues.
  • Long term accumulation of fat substances or cholesterol in the blood vessels can narrow the path of the blood vessel obstructing the blood flow.
  • Blockage of blood vessels causes pressure which leads to heart attacks, paralysis, impaired speech and even death.
  • Blood circulation problems can also lead to hair loss, fatigue and difficulty in breathing.


  • Blood thinners are usually prescribed by doctors in order to dilate the arteries which are clogged.
  • Anticoagulants and anti platelets can also be used in order to treat the clotting issues.
  • Follow a balanced diet and avoid food rich in cholesterol.
  • Include fresh vegetables and fruits rich in fiber in your diet as they help in eliminating the unwanted fats.
  • Avoid fried and fatty foods as they play a major role in clogging the arteries.
  • Include physical activities like walking, cardiovascular exercises and walking in your daily routine in order to stay fit and healthy.
  • Yoga, cycling, swimming, jogging and regular exercises will aid proper blood circulation in the body.
  • Blood sugar levels should be monitored frequently to prevent blood circulation problems.
  • Steam baths, hot showers and warm baths will help in improving the the circulation of blood.
  • Physiotherapy provides relief from problems of blood circulation.
  • Acupressure, yoga and massage therapy also have beneficial effects on blood circulation.
  • Surgical procedures can also be used to eradicate the clots present in the blood vessels.

Tips to Improve Blood Circulation Naturally

A person can improve his/her blood circulation by following the below mentioned diet and lifestyle changes.

  • Exercise: It is very important to exercise regularly as it helps you to stay fit and healthy. Include walking for at least 30 minutes daily or you can even opt for aerobic exercises as well. Yoga is the best way to improve blood circulation and also to stay fit.
  • Diet: Along with exercise it is also important to eat right for good blood circulation. Most of us may not have time to include foods which can improve blood circulation due to their busy schedule and the below mentioned tips will be of great use.
  • Garlic: This works wonders as it plays an important role in preventing the plaque formation and also improves the circulation of blood efficiently.
  • Oranges: This fruit consists of bioflavonoids and vitamin C in huge amounts which are very essential for improving blood circulation and also strengthening the walls of capillaries.
  • Watermelon: This fruit helps in preventing plaque formation just like garlic and this happens due to the presence of a compound called lycopene it it. Water melon also helps in improving blood circulation.
  • Pumpkin Seeds: These play a major role in dissolving blood clots and also decreases the thickness of blood promoting proper blood circulation.
  • Lifestyle: Poor blood circulation occurs due to poor lifestyle as well. Lifestyle changes include healthy diet, regular exercise and healthy living style. Avoid smoking as it is the main cause of this condition. All the mentioned ideas will give a clear idea on how to improve blood circulation as a healthy living will always lead to a healthy life!

Medical Treatment

The following are a few medical treatments that will help a person to overcome blood circulation problems.

  • Medications: There are many medications available, that will help you treat this condition. Make sure that you take them under a doctor’s supervision. A doctor may prescribe anticoagulants and anti-platelet agents as they prevent the clotting of blood and blood thinners. These medications also help in maintaining normal blood flow in the body.
  • Surgeries: These are generally conducted in serious conditions and are used to remove the blood clots and plaque formed on the walls of the arteries. This will help in improving the blood circulation.
  • Supplements: Vitamins C, B, calcium, magnesium and B-complex supplements help in improving the blood circulation.
  • Other Treatments: Other ways of treating this condition is by treating the causes for conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.

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